Buddy Clarke

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by dfp, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    does anyone know anything about Buddy Clark? musical or anecdotal? I have enjoyed his playing and tone on a reissue cd called "Lucky Lucy Ann".... thanks
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Here's the bio excerpt from All Music Guide:

    Biography by Eugene Chadbourne

    Veteran big band leader Buddy Clarke's career stretches back to the '30s. His recording debut took place in the early '40s, the hectic days prior to the implementation of the AFM ban on new recordings. The sides he cut in this period are hard to find, and what does exist in print becomes mired in confusion surrounding this artist's name. He is often mixed up with two other performers named Buddy Clark, who in turn are often mixed up with each other, a fate they no doubt deserve for the audacity of both appearing on the same Doris Day sessions, one singing and the other playing bass. The crooning Buddy Clark — note, no "e" at the end, and then feel proud for having noticed something that dozens of discographers and hundreds of electronic databases have not — is in particular something of a black shadow, since he began performing in the same era as Clarke and does similar types of big band material. The bassist Clark plays a much wider range of material, but when it comes time to credit him, the percentage of Clarke entries that ought to be Clark suggest a tube of glue spilled in the typesetter's kit.

    Another thing the two big band performers have in common is that neither man's name is really either Clark or Clarke. Buddy Clark's real name was Buddy Goldberg, while Clarke's was Buddy Kreisberg. The latter man had already been a bandleader at East Coast hotels such as the Montreal Mount Royal for a lengthy stretch when he was signed by producer Joe Davis in the summer of 1942. The resulting recording sessions, part of a packed schedule of activity prior to the aforementioned ban kicking in, were actually smushed in between the more elaborate recording activities of vocalist Savannah Churchill, but yielded some interesting material nonetheless.

    At the same time, there was enough subterfuge involved to suggest that at least some of the participants didn't want to be that involved. One credited songwriter, Leslie Beacon, does not exist. This was a pseudonym for Davis, who had started the Beacon label. One of the featured vocalists, Jim Parsons, also did not exist. This was actually the seasoned vocalist Irving Kaufman, laying low, and maybe because he was asked to sing a number entitled "Why Is My Little Red Head Blue?" Recording logs from the period indicate Clarke may have gotten 50 bucks for his efforts. Hopefully his pay increased in his senior years, when the music of the '30s and '40s became something audiences were interested in reviving. Based out of Hampton, VA, Clarke is still going strong with an outfit called Buddy Clarke & His Big Swing Band, often featuring vocalist Marie Elena.
  3. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    thanks, francois, i had seen the AMG thing awhile ago, but i forgot which spelling to use for Buddy Clark the bassist. his name comes up casually in one of Paul W's old posts, I was hoping some more interesting info might be brought to light...

    the one recording i have with Clarke is a laid-back pop-jazz standards west coast small group w/ singer thing, Lucy Ann Polk, with Marty Paich arrangements. the thing is so well recorded and mixed, you'd never guess it was 50 years ago. or maybe they did all that in the reissue process, i don't know how that works...

    so, now that we've settled on Buddy Clark, without the "e", any stories? :smug:
  4. I mentioned Buddy when I was talking about those 'West Coast' bassists. Along with Joe Mondragon, Ralph Pena, and a host of very active jazz recording bassists.
    I don't know much about Buddy...only that he recorded a whole buch of stuff on Contemporary, Pacific Jazz, etc.
    Dates with Marty Paich, Shelly Manne and many big L.A. studio type bands.
    He was a fine player!
  5. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    thanks for dropping in, Mr W. I've very much enjoyed your contributions around here
  6. Dave. I wish we had more on Buddy. As I remember from backs of records' liner-note/pictures, he looked kinda like Clark Kent. Horn rim glasses..black hair.
    I'll call my old friend Colin Bailey, who was one of the top five drum calls in those days in L.A. Maybe he can shine some light on this. I called him when we were talking about Vince Guaraldi and those Peanuts sessions (with Colin on drums) He came up with some good stuff. I'll let you know.
    Thanks for enjoying my enjoyment!
  7. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    so, did they get to the bottom of just who was on the sessions? i read an article about it awhile ago... forgot how the story ended...

    i know i transcribed somebody's bass line on O Tannebaum and for a long time thought it was Monty Budwig... a great example of making simple diatonic changes sound like jazz, and groove, whoever played it!
  8. Do a search using Vince's name. Turns out Monty and Colin were on some and Fred Marshall and drummer Jerry Granelli were on the others.


    Aug 26, 2005

    For awhile in the mid-1950s Buddy Clark was room mate with another very good "west coast" bassist-- Jim Aton (who was actually from the midwest), who also worked as a staff bassist at Gold Star. They used to trade gigs, trade basses, etc. Jim eventually joined Anita O'Day circa 1960 and was her main touring bassman until about 1966. He also worked with Bobby Troup, Calvin Jackson, The Red Norvo Trio, KTLA's Stars of Jazz etc etc. He moved to Tahoe in '72 to join Earl Hines and is still up there...and still hittin'....